Whenever you have to think about diet and necessities in daily life, the focus is usually taken over by the foods that should not be consumed. But when it comes to what is the right set of foods to consume, there is usually a confusion that arises. Hearing every day that fruits and vegetables are good for the body is nothing new for anyone. But not knowing the right kinds of foods and how they benefit the body, can lead to daily consumption of the same foods that are easily available around you. But, what nature provides us is quite an interesting way of understanding the importance of different fruits and vegetables. That is because nature has color-coded all of those and categorized each into a specific color supplying benefits to the body in different ways.
Let’s see some of these color categorized fruits and vegetables that need to be inculcated as a colorful diet.
All orange foods contain a plant compound Carotenoids which is a primary component that produces Vitamin A in our body. Vitamin A ensures that we have a proper and healthy immune system through the regular generation of white blood cells. It promotes growth in bones, regulates cell division and growth. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two types of Carotenoids that along with Vitamin are responsible for healthy vision. Orange foods include carrots, squash, sweet potato, cantaloupe, pumpkin, orange, and many more.
Red foods contain lycopene which is another type of Carotenoid compound. It ensures a healthy prostate as well as a healthy heart. Vegetables and fruits of red color contain antioxidants that reduce the risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, and cancer particularly prostate cancer. It also reduces the risk of heart diseases and brain maladies. Red fruits include red grapes, strawberries, watermelon, cherries, raspberries, cranberries, red apples, and pomegranates. Red Vegetables include tomatoes, radishes, red cabbages, and beets.
BLUE, PURPLE, CRIMSON, BROWN COLOURS
Fruits and vegetables of these colors mainly contain flavonoids. Flavonoids are good for us as they promote proper brain functioning, memory, healthy aging, and improved blood flow. It reduces the risk of heart strokes, diseases, and cancers. Eggplant, purple cabbage, purple potatoes, blackberries, blueberries, red and purple grapes, red wine, dark chocolate, cocoa, tea and many such are great sources of flavonoids.
Hearing about green fruits and vegetables is nothing new. But many do not understand the importance. Such fruits and vegetables contain Folic acid, Vitamins A, C, E, potassium, and fiber.
With the vast amount of benefits, green leafy vegetables and fruits protect eye health, lowers risk of macular degeneration and protects pregnant women reducing birth defects in newborn. Also, it protects from cancer and high-level blood cholesterols, regulates digestion and improves the immune system. Broccoli, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, sprouts, green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, peas, green pepper etc are some green vegetables. Green apples, kiwi, green grapes, lime, avocado, and kale are some of the common green fruits.
White Fruits and vegetables contain ample amount of Vitamin D, phosphorous and calcium. These vitamins and minerals help in maintaining bone health as well as body weight. Foods containing probiotic help in improving digestive tracts and immune system. White foods help lower high blood pressure and bad cholesterol in the body. Apart from that, nutrients also aid in reducing the risk of colon, prostate and breast cancers. Potatoes, Onions, mushrooms, cauliflowers, turnips, bananas, white peaches and pears are the most common white foods. Low fat/ fat-free milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese are also commonly consumed white products that are healthy.
This is essentially the color of fat. Cooking oils, butter, vegetable oils etc are all produced yellow. This might bring out a question as to what could these possibly benefit us with if all they contain is fats. Well, it actually is the fats that our body needs at times and it all depends on the kind of fat being consumed to know how it will affect our body. Its always suggested that consumption of low saturated and trans fat foods is the best from the health perspective. But our body needs certain types of unsaturated fats to be consumed through diet, to keep our body going longer. Such fats are linoleic acids (omega 6 fatty acid) and linolenic acids (omega 3 fatty acid). These fats are essential for children for their skin, proper growth and even for adults who wish to reduce their bad cholesterol. Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K are all needed in our body and the above fatty acids are best mediums to carry these throughout our body. It not only reduces heart diseases but also promotes brain health and vision.
Yellow foods most commonly consumed and preferred are butter, cooking oils, vegetable oil, sweet corn, mangoes, pineapple, papaya, yellow pepper, yellow tomatoes and so on.
It’s the nature’s way of helping us by color coding the entire collection of food items to ensure that we are aware of the specialty of each color. How each color affects us and our bodies promotes a healthy learning of consuming Colourful diet. Its very important that we understand that it’s not only the color that’s good for us but the underlying common elements, vitamins, and nutrients. Therefore, combining all colors in our daily meals can give you the necessary boost the body needs as well as ensure a healthy life throughout.
Article Credits: Mitalee Mithal | New Delhi | India